Monday, 29 April 2013

Using a sewing machine

While I was in Basingstoke, Sue showed me how to use her sewing machine. I've attempted to use one before, but I've never been able to figure it out on my own, so it was helpful to have some guidance. I've now successfully created 3 different objects using Sue's machine!

The first isn't perfect.. but it is functional, which is good enough for a first attempt!

A wrap for my crochet hooks!

I attached the tie with a decorative button using hand stitch after hemming the material and sewing straight lines along the fabric to create slim pockets for my hooks to sit in!
A relatively easy and quick (ish - probably up to 2 hours) first project!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

4KCBWDAY7: Looking forward.. and the end.

Day Seven (Sunday April 28th): Looking Forward
One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

This could be anything from mastering a technique (broomstick lace, entrelac, etc), trying a new yarn or skill, or a long term wish to crochet only from your stash, or knit every stitch in one of the Harmony Guides. Maybe you have no desire or plans for your craft at all, no new element of knitting or crochet that you dream of mastering, in which case write about why that might be. In a year's time participants will be asked to look back to see if they achieved any goals, no matter how general, and see which house conquered the art of looking forward.

Okay, so a proper goal would be to try out lots of different square patterns. I need to (finally) get myself down to the library, find a crochet book, and experiment with different crochet squares.

I'd like to try some more tunisian crochet. I really enjoyed the little testers I did.. but I don't have the right hooks (yet).

I should probably aim to have at least finished the blankets I'm already working on.. and finish the one I'm planning to do as part of a CAL by not your average crochet.

So those are my plans.. and I look forward to seeing everyone else's on the 4KCBWDAY7 tag.. type it in to google to find more blogs :)

I've really enjoyed taking part in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013.. thanks to Eskimimi makes for organising such a great event!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

4KCBWDAY6: A tool to covet

Day Six (Saturday April 27th): A Tool To Covet
Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers. 

Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?

I don't really use that many tools in my crafts.. I mean, I obviously use crochet hooks, and knitting needles. I use stitch markers too, but aside from those my "tools" are few and far between...

I do have a fair few hooks though:

And knitting needles:

And sooo many stitch markers (because I lose and break them frequently).

You can also see my cable needle, which I have just learnt to use. Also my circular needle, which I've never used..

I have some bamboo DPNs somewhere too, but I'm not sure where I've put them..

Don't forget to search 4kcbwday6 for more knitting and crochet tools :)

Friday, 26 April 2013

4KCBWDAY5: Something a bit different

Today we can blog about anything we like, but we have to try to do it in a way which is different to how we usually would. 
Frankly, posting every day this week is different enough for me! But, I've attempted to make a gif of one of my projects, rather than showing you lots of different pictures.

And here is my little graduation owl! I think that turned out quite well. Now I'll try to talk you through the project more than I normally would. I'm usually pretty bad at this bit.

I started this project ages ago, back in January. For such a small project, that seems like years ago. I made his little body and his graduation cap and left him alone for quite some time (do you see why I'm a bee yet..) Then a couple of weeks ago, I got around to making his head. The head and body were fairly easy to work, just working a spiral in the round, then working straight for a few rows.
The cap was so long ago that I can't remember how the "board" was worked, but I don't think it was like any ami I had done before.
I'm tempted to re-do owl's beak, as I'm not keen on this crochet beak. I might change it to just an embroidered beak.
I'm also not totally happy with the wings on this owl, and as I'm planning on making a few more, I think I'll need to try and make them a bit bigger!
The most difficult part of this project for me though, was putting the safety eyes in. I'm really bad at trying to put the backs on them, and I find it so fiddly and it starts to hurt my fingers! But they look so good!
This is only the second time I've used them though.. so maybe it'll get easier with practise :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

4KCBWDAY4: Colour review

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?Now think back to your house animal - do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway - if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?

I love pastel colours!
I'm trying to collect a load of them at the moment for a blanket crochet-a-long. I don't think I use that many of them in general though. I like to make small amigurumi projects, so I like to have lots of different basic colours, so that I can make true-to-life colour animals.

I recently bought 8 different colour 50g balls of acrylic yarn just for this purpose!

I have started using the yellow and orange, but the others are all stashed away.

Now: here are pretty much all the colours I own in my stash..

The last two are the beginnings of the pastels for my blanket :)
In terms of my yarn relating back to my house. I suppose my hexagon blanket (WIP) could be seen as relating to me being a bee. I keep flitting between it and other projects, because making a hexagon doesn't take too long. The hexagon is the shape bees use for their hives and the yellow rows will be yellow and black! So that worked out well! I do prefer my baby blanket though (giant granny square) as it is a very relaxing project that I can easily do in front of the TV. I love the colours of that blanket too.. I never would've put them together myself, but all the yarn came in a pack together, and I just used them in the order my hands came to them.. then repeated it when I got through them all!

If you want to see the colours other people like to work with search 4KCBWDAY4 to find tonnes of other blogs taking part in knitting and crochet week :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

4KCBWDAY3: Infographic time!

Time to make an infographic!

Well... I didn't really know what to do with this one! It took me a while to think of what I could portray to you. In the end I've gone with a simple (and estimated.. I really have no idea of the real statistics, but I tried to make it vaguely accurate).

So here it is...

So there have been some quick projects..

A couple of mug hugs:

Some red hearts:

And my new cabled bracelets (that I haven't properly blogged about yet..):

As well as the longer (and unfinished) projects. But with 70% of my projects taking over a week, you wouldn't think that I'm a bee. Truth is, they take me so long because I get distracted by all the other projects in my mind!